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  • 1. Blåhed, Ida-Maria
    et al.
    Königsson, Helena
    Ericsson, Göran
    Spong, Göran
    Discovery of SNPs for individual identification by reduced representation sequencing of moose (Alces alces)2018In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 13, no 5, p. 1-14, article id e0197364Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Monitoring of wild animal populations is challenging, yet reliable information about population processes is important for both management and conservation efforts. Access to molecular markers, such as SNPs, enables population monitoring through genotyping of various DNA sources. We have developed 96 high quality SNP markers for individual identification of moose (Alces alces), an economically and ecologically important top-herbivore in boreal regions. Reduced representation libraries constructed from 34 moose were high-throughput de novo sequenced, generating nearly 50 million read pairs. About 50 000 stacks of aligned reads containing one or more SNPs were discovered with the Stacks pipeline. Several quality criteria were applied on the candidate SNPs to find markers informative on the individual level and well representative for the population. An empirical validation by genotyping of sequenced individuals and additional moose, resulted in the selection of a final panel of 86 high quality autosomal SNPs. Additionally, five sex-specific SNPs and five SNPs for sympatric species diagnostics are included in the panel. The genotyping error rate was 0.002 for the total panel and probability of identities were low enough to separate individuals with high confidence. Moreover, the autosomal SNPs were highly informative also for population level analyses. The potential applications of this SNP panel are thus many including investigations of population size, sex ratios, relatedness, reproductive success and population structure. Ideally, SNP-based studies could improve today’s population monitoring and increase our knowledge about moose population dynamics.

  • 2.
    Breitling, Rainer
    et al.
    Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, UK.
    Buckland, Philip I.
    Umeå universitet, Miljöarkeologiska laboratoriet.
    Epigean spiders at Abisko Scientific Research Station in Swedish Lapland (Arachnida:Araneae)2015In: The Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society, ISSN 0524-4994, Vol. 16, no 8, p. 287-293Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Torneträsk area, including the Abisko National Park, Sweden, is arachnologically one of the best explored sites of Fennoscandia. Here we report the results of pitfall trapping at Abisko Scientific Research Station during the summers of 2004 and 2005, recording 791 individuals of 62 species of spiders. As expected, at the species level, samples were dominated by members of the Linyphiidae, while at the level of individuals Pardosa hyperborea and other lycosids were dominant. Two subsites, on heath and bog, differed substantially in their species profile: 7 species were statistically overrepresented on the drier heath site, while 2 species showed a strong preference for the wetter bog site. The samples also contained the first reported lateral gynadromorph of Archaeodictyna consecuta (Dictynidae). This study, from 195 km north of the Arctic Circle, provides important reference data for continued studies on the long-term effects of climate change on arctic ecosystems.

  • 3.
    Hedlund, Johanna
    Stockholms universitet, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Climate change effects on migratory birds and on the ecology and behaviour of the willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent global climate change is influencing the behaviour and ecology of species worldwide. Birds are typical systems to study in this context, as they are often migratory and thus subjected to a variety of environmental effects. This thesis employs the use of long-term ringing records, field observations, historical maps and historical volunteer observations with the aim of describing behavioural and ecological responses of birds to the current environmental change. An investigation into the spring arrival, reproduction and autumn departure in willow warblers (Phylloscopus trochilus) breeding at a southern study site in Sweden (65°N 18°E) showed that all three phenological events had advanced in parallel. Thus birds arrive earlier, start breeding earlier and leave Sweden earlier, with the breeding period staying the same in length. By teasing apart the migratory responses of different individuals, it became clear that particularly early arriving males and early departing juveniles had advanced migration. However, willow warblers migrating past a northern study site in Sweden (65°N 23°E) displayed no change in autumn departure. When migration in the two regionally separate populations were analyzed in relation to climatic variables, the results indicated that foremost a combined effect of growing season onset and the North Atlantic Oscillation influenced migratory timing, and only in individuals that had advanced migration. As growing season onset had advanced at both regions, but only elicited migratory change in southern willow warblers, it is proposed that intra-specific difference between populations prepare them differently to climate change. Willow warblers breeding at northern latitudes were also displaying absence of an otherwise common behaviour of the species: philopatry. It is suggested that the climate induced change in onset of the growing season, coupled with an increase in available territories, could have enabled a southern influx of dispersal-prone birds adopting a less philopatric breeding behaviour. Availability of territories was also studied in southern Sweden, in relation to 100 years of land use change and future climate change effects on forestry. The mass-conversion of grazed forest into coniferous sylvicultures that has occurred in Sweden 1900-2013 was shown to have negatively affected territory availability for willow warblers. The second most common bird species in Sweden, the chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), was however shown to be largely unaffected. In a future scenario where rising temperatures will increase growth rates of trees, harvest rotation will be faster and both sylvicultures and logged areas will increase in coverage, favouring both species. Thus commonness in terms of landscape and species occurrence has altered historically and is dynamically linked. Historic perspectives were also applied to observations of spring arrival of 14 migratory bird species. A relative comparison of two data sets, collected over 140 years, revealed that short-distance migrants have changed their spring arrival more than long-distance migrants in southern Sweden. In conclusion, the results of this thesis provide insights into climate change effects on avian behaviour and ecology, document unique observations and contribute with a great spectrum of knowledge, from exact details on responses by individual birds, through long-term changes in populations to historical perspectives on shifts in entire landscapes

  • 4. Lehnert, K.
    et al.
    Weirup, L.
    Harding, K. C.
    Harkonen, T.
    Karisson, O.
    Teilmann, J.
    Antarctic seals: Molecular biomarkers as indicators for pollutant exposure, health effects and diet2017In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 599, p. 1693-1704Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Weddell (Leptonychotes weddellii), Ross (Ommatophoca rossii) and crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophaga) are phocid seals with a circumpolar distribution around Antarctica. As long-lived and large top predators, they bioaccumulate contaminants and are considered as sentinels of ecosystem health. Antarctic seals are increasingly exposed to climate change, pollution, shipping and fisheries. To reveal and understand possible anthropogenic impacts on their immune and health status, this study investigates sensitive biomarkers of the xenobiotic metabolism and immune system in relation to mercury (Hg) burden. Gene-transcription studies using minimally invasive blood samples are useful to monitor physiological processes in wildlife that can be related to different stressors. Blood samples of 72 wild-caught seals (Weddell n = 33; Ross n = 12; crabeater n = 27) in the Amundsen and Ross Seas in 2008-2011 were investigated. Copy numbers per mu l mRNA transcription of xenobiotic biomarkers (aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR)), aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR alpha) and immune relevant cell mediators (cytokines interleukin-2 (IL-2), interleukin-10 (IL-10) and heat-shock-protein 70 (HSP70)) were measured using reference genes Tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein, zeta polypeptide (YWHAZ) and ribosomal protein L4 (RPL4) by real time RT-qPCR. Hg concentration was analysed in fur. Hg concentration increased with body weight and standard length in all species. Crabeater seals showed a lower Hg concentration than Ross and Weddell seals. Species-specific differences in gene-transcription were found between all species with highest levels of AHR, ARNT and PPARa in crabeater seals. Ross seals showed highest IL-10 and HSP70 transcription, while HSP70 was exceptionally low in crabeater seals. Between Hg and HSP70 a clear negative relationship was found in all species. The species-specific, age and sex-dependent gene-transcription probably reflect dietary habits, pollutant exposure and immune status. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  • 5. Martinet, Baptiste
    et al.
    Brasero, Nicolas
    Lecocq, Thomas
    Biella, Paolo
    Valterová, Irena
    Michez, Denis
    Rasmont, Pierre
    Adding attractive semio-chemical trait refines the taxonomy of Alpinobombus (Hymenoptera: Apidae)2018In: Apidologie, ISSN 0044-8435, E-ISSN 1297-9678, Vol. 49, no 6, p. 838-851Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Species taxonomy of bumblebees (Bombus Latreille, 1802) is well known to be problematic due to a potentially high intra-specific variability of morphological traits while different species can converge locally to the same color pattern (cryptic species). Assessing species delimitation remains challenging because it requires to arbitrarily select variable traits whose accuracy continues to be debated. Integrative taxonomic approach seems to be very useful for this group as different independent traits are assessed to propose a rational taxonomic hypothesis. Among operational criteria to assess specific status, the reproductive traits involved in the pre-mating recognition (i.e., the male cephalic labial gland secretions, CLGS) have been premium information. Since these secretions are supposed to be species-specific, these chemical traits can bring essential information where species delimitation is debated. Here, we describe and compare the CLGS of 161 male specimens of nine Alpinobombus taxa: alpinus, balteatus, helleri, hyperboreus, kirbiellus, natvigi, neoboreus, polaris, and pyrrhopygus. We aim also to test the congruence between this new information (reproductive traits) and published genetic dataset. Our results emphasized six distinct groups with diagnostic major compounds: (a) alpinus + helleri with hexadec-9-en-1-ol; (b) polaris + pyrrhopygus with two major compounds hexadec-9-en-1-ol and hexadec-9-enal; (c) balteatus with tetradecyl acetate; (d) kirbiellus with geranyl geranyl acetate; (e) hyperboreus + natvigi with octadec-11-en-1-ol; (f) neoboreus with octadec-9-en-1-ol. Based on this new information, we can confirm the species status of B. alpinus, B. balteatus, B. hyperboreus, B. kirbiellus, B. neoboreus, and B. polaris. We also confirm the synonymy of helleri (Alps) with alpinus (Sweden). However, the specific status of natvigi (Alaska) and pyrrhopygus (Sweden) is questionable and these taxa do not have specific CLGS composition.

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